I have decided to take a day off from my real job this morning and instead spend it on my preferred job :) - beading.

Tomorrow is the day when my next ABS carnival blogger post is due, and I have decided to use that occasion and actually load something up to my Etsy shop. Nicki's Reef has been live on Etsy for some time as I also use it for my purchases, but all the policies and stuff have kept me away from really starting it up. Now I am thinking what the heck, it's time to keep moving.

So here are the results of today's beading time:

(green oval glass beads and wood wire wrapped on copper, sari ribbon, handmade clasp)

Shanghai memories
(chinese lacquered paper bead, sari ribbon on copper wire, chain, handmade clasp)

Sun in the woods
(triangle wood beads, plastic sun bead, lampwork bead from Kelley's Beads, yellow glass bead, wire wrapped on copper, handmade clasp)

So do you think somebody will actually buy those?
I will upload them later today to my store, once I have sorted all these policies out :).
Thanks for looking.

Three beautiful things

Inspired by Clare's blog, here are my three beautiful things from yesterday and today:

1) We finally got the gate in my mom's garden finished (ok, it needs more brackets, paint, another lock and some wood here and there, but it is nearly done) - Picture shows Nick and my mom and my baby (sleeping in stroller / under rain cover) adjusting the last screws on the gate we built over the past weekends.
2) My girl is practicing to stand on one leg now - lifting the second one up in the back like a ballerina - it is so funny I need to take a picture for you guys.

3) As opposed to everybody else, I have been waiting so badly for the end of the vacation, because yeah, today our playclasses start again. So much more fun to do it with other babies and mommies that alone at home by yourselves.

4) Ok, I am breaking the rules. Stefanie is the ABS designer of the week. I love her stuff and I am really happy for her.

The sweetest thing

Rebecca Anderson is just the sweetest thing. I met her as my bead buddy in Lori's second bead soup party, and since then we are really connected. Rebecca lives in the UK and is a singer and jewelry designer, and a very talented one. She seed beads and loves wire work too. Her pieces are really cool - go over to her etsy shop here where you can buy some stunning pieces of beadwork.

So how cool was that when I won her recent giveaway - the book called Four seasons of beading. I have already fully absorbed it, and got very inspired by all the projects that are in there. But I was truely truely amazed by Rebecca's sweetness, when I found out that there was a little extra bag filled with beady goodness in the package when the book arrived. And when I opened it, I found out that it was not only some beady goodness, but it was the necklace she made from the beads that I sent her in the last bead soup party. And I L-O-V-E it. I have been wearing it a lot. And it always warms up my heart when I see it and makes me think of Rebecca.

Rebecca recently got married and looked really gorgeous in her wedding dress. I would have loved to be there. I wish you so much luck Rebecca and happiness you and your honey.

The bead soup party was surely not the last time Rebecca and I met - I have other projects in mind, some of them include a trip to the UK and a hedgehog cake. So keep visiting Rebecca's blog and mine to check for updates.

Planning the B-day

Birthdays should be special. The older you get the more they lose the magic. But as long as I can do it, it will be the most special day for my daughter. Most people say that they don't really get what's going on, but HA! I know better. My daughter is smart. Big party. Period.

Two weeks are left, and I have most of the gifts - pictures later when they will be unpacked.
But what can make a baby birthday special. She won't really care about the special cake. And all her play class friends have their birthday parties before her, so there is not so much left to choose from. We had indoor parities, we had parties are the zoo / playground areas and we sang songs.

So here is my question to you guys: How can I make this B-day special?

I found a mini helium ballon set yesterday at Toys'R'Us. That's in for sure. Party hats. But if you were a one year old, or actually had a one year old, what would you do? And any special killer gift that you can think of?
So curious for your advice.

A smitten kitten

That is what I am. I won another giveaway from the stringing magazine carnival blog hop. MIchelle Mach has organized it - and there are some wonderful blogs that you can check out starting from her site HERE.

Those wonderful ceramic beads made by Gaea.

I can't wait until they're here.
Thanks Gaea for making them and thanks Michelle (and for picking me.

Marcie made me seed bead

I have been saying a million times that I am not a seed beader. These beads are too tiny for me, and the designs are usually too ornamental for me (is that a word?), and it just takes way too long to make something.

I have piles and piles of seed beads in my stash though. Because they are pretty. And when I discovered Marcie Abney's Bella Joya blog through the bead soup, it became more and more obvious that I would have to try it one day.

I bought a tutorial from her the other day and yesterday night (with 150 baby interruptions) I made my version of her carnival pendant. And I am really amazed that I could get it done and that it looks the way it looks.

Dear seed beader readers, please don't look too close at the picture. I know there are spaces, I know thread is showing, and if Marcie looks at this, she will probably start shaking her head - because I added beads in spots they were not supposed to be and I took some beads off because they did not fit in here. This taught me the lesson about how important it is to stick to the indicated size of the beads. But given the fact I live in Germany and seed beads are not that easy to get here, I am impressed that I found something that was more or less color corrdinated and about the right size of beads (forgive me Marcie, but when we buy seed beads here in a store, we do not get the indications of the American sizes).

Anyways. I know it is more of a trial and error type of piece. But I think I got hooked a bit and even though it is far from perfect - it is great for me. It is my first seed bead project ever, ok aside from a simple peyote band ring I made once. I really like it. And if I can do it, everybody can do it (and probably better). So rush to Marcie's Etsy store and buy a carnival pendant tutorial. And if you do not like this one, she has a couple of others in her shop as well. I actually also have the persian rugs bracelet one, so maybe this will be next. Thanks for stopping by and thanks, Marcie, to make me seed bead.

3 beautiful things

I have recently discovered Clare's Three Beautiful Things blog. Every day she captures some good things that have happened to her in this blog. And she encourages people to do the same.

I think it is a nice idea, and I have been wanting to try it, but I am not sure if I have really something meaningful to say. Or if I basically want to talk about my baby and my beads every day. I am still convinced I won't write about those every day, but maybe from time to time. I just like the idea to much. So here are 3 beautiful things I experienced this weekend.

1. The baby swim class on Saturday morning, and Meli's first attempts at "diving".

2. The BBQ with Stefanie and Matthias yesterday night (really night - I think they left after 2 pm) - which felt like party time pre-baby.

3. The entire day today: The hot air balloon festival in Cologne today. The large ballons we saw, the small balloon we bought for Meli and her excitement about it, the ball we won in the lottery (she did got at choosing the tickets), the time we spent in the kids area playing. Followed by another left-over BBQ with Kathrin and Josefina, the Champagne with raspberries we drank, playing with the babies on the floor.

Overall it was a nice weekend. Hope you did too. And hope the week will be the same.

Last day of bead stock week and a good cause

Ok, today is the last day (for now). And I saved something special for you. I recently ran over Rosebud's blog "For the love of beads". I have been there before but was not following. This time I realized that a terrible thing happened to her family. Her daughter Jenny is suffering from a form of blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

She has an etsy shop, and in there is a section called "for Jenny". She is updating it regularly and will give all that money to her daughter to help her with the expenses that this disease is causing.

I bought this pretty sunbead a few weeks ago, and though I exactly know what I want to make, I did not have the time to get there. So I show you this bead now, and I would like to encourage you to go there and help them out. She regularly updates the shop, so I got some more this week.

I think they need some love and the beads and jewelry she has in there is pretty and affordable. This is the right place to spend your money. And make sure to spread the word and come back and show us what you got.

Increase-your-bead-stock-week - Day 7

Tomorrow is the last day of the incredible "increase-your-bead-stock-week", ok I bought too many beads to go just on for one week, so it will be 8 days.

And the next ones are coming in already. In case you did not know it, RoundRabbitExtra (Nancy Schindler's Ceramic components shop) will close, so go and pick up the last goodies.

For today, I will show you my treasures from outwest. I love everything etched, so I only got etched beads. But I need to warn you, I am apparently not capable of taking good pictures of etched beads. I hope you still enjoy them.


Rings of Mt. Talac

Periwinkle Beach Pottery Chunks

And some pretty gift-beads

Increase-your-bead-stock-week - Day 6

Gems4us is the store owner of today. And they were a real bargain too.
All of those beads cost me 22 USD including shipping to Europe.
So look at these cuties - handpainted porcelain bird and owl beads.
They are even better in real life. Go shop.....

Increase-your-bead-stock-week - Day 5

Today you can increase your bead stock at nightowlbeads.

I bought: A parliament of owls (handpainted porcelain beads).

Aren't they cute? Just not sure if I should put them all in one piece or use them as little accents.

More animal beads are showing up here tomorrow.

Increase-your-bead-stock-week - Day 4

Let me introduce you to IndyJules. She makes fantastic lampwork beads. And I did promise you more hollows, didn't I?
So here is what we got for today:

Those cute black and white polka dot beads were a gift :)

Some copper green organic etched spacers
Hollow beads in Ink Blue and Amethyst

And this is my favorite: A DIY fillable globe pendant with a sterling silver cap (I am so in love with that one....

So if you want, leave me suggestions what I can put in the globe pendant....

Thanks and stay tuned for more beads coming tomorrow.

Increase-your-bead-stock-week - Day 3

Today you will start to drool over some wonderful beads I got from Mermaid Glass. I have got some from her Etsy store before, and it is always worth to go back after a while because she keeps coming up with new wonderful stuff. You see some wonderful "fairy skirts in red and blue". Some sea foam beads, these pretty black and white ones, the transparent flat ones with the blue core, and oh oh oh these dark green hollows. I ADORE hollows. There will be more of them coming on one of the next days of "increase-your-bead-stock-week". So stay tuned.

Increase-your-bead-stock-week - Day 2

Today I will show you two little treasures that I got from my friend Andrew Thornton, who recently held a sale in his shop.

I have been looking at those beads for a while, but this time they were supposed to be mine.

Can you believe that the second two pictures show the same bead? Well, that's how special they are.

Come back tomorrow on Day 3 of Shopping week.

Increase-your-bead-stock-week - Day 1

During the last days I got at least one package per day with bead goodiness, and I am way behind in terms of blogging about it. So stay tuned for more bead posts in the next days.

I want to start with something not-purchased though.

I recently won a "small surprise giveaway" from my dear blog friend Cindy Wimmer. And look at what I've got. This is not small, by no means. Thank you so much, Cindy. These are sooooo pretty. I've got 5 of the wider ones and 4 of the slim ones. I really really love the slim ones.

Check out Cindy's cool designs in the new issues of Easy Wire. This lady is so talented and such a sweet person. I hope I will be able to meet her in person one day.
And stay tuned for tomorrow's real start of Bead Shoppping Week.

Josefina's Birthday

One year ago, it was a Thursday night, and Nick and I went to our Birth Preparatory Class. we had just known the other couples for a few weeks, and most of the ladies were further along in their pregnancy than me.

But that night, one of the couples was missing. She still had about 5 weeks to go, and we had coffee and cake over at her place the day before and she was 100% sure she wanted to join the class that day. So imagine how nervous we got.

And that night, when the class (which was held at the hospital) was over, he proud daddy came and told us that Frida Josefina was born. She turned into Meli's best friend (so far :) ).

It was a really special day, that August 6th, 2009, and Josefina is a special girl, so we got her a special gift for her first birthday. I will still go get a toy for her later, but for now I got her a Pandora bracelet (still far too big obviously) and her first bead. It could not be any kind of bead, but it had to be special too. So I asked the wonderful lampworker Marieke (one of the bead soup party friends) to make one for her - this ladybug bead. Josefina loves ladybugs. And I hope this will be special to her. And whenever there is an important event in her life, she can add another bead to her bracelet.

We will celebrate her birthday today and go visit a little animal park, have cake and cookies, and go to play in the playground. An oasis in all that stuff going on.

A few beads

Some of the beads from my shopping therapy arrived yesterday, and oh they are so cute.

Bronze horse pendant - this is really heavy and must feel really cool when worn on a long necklace

Sun beads (plastics I think but they are really cute)

Faceted resin rondelles (really rough and that's what I like about them - but hard to photgraph)

And ceramic beads - also very earthy in color and feel

I got all of those at Yuki designs - check out the shop here.